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Why are Frito Lays workers working ‘suicide shifts’ on the job🥵 Since 5 July, hundreds of striking workers at a Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas, have drawn attention to the Dickensian conditions …More
Why are Frito Lays workers working ‘suicide shifts’ on the job🥵

Since 5 July, hundreds of striking workers at a Frito-Lay plant in Topeka, Kansas, have drawn attention to the Dickensian conditions workers have been subjected to in order to produce some of the biggest brand name chips in the United States, including Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, Lay’s, Ruffles, Funyuns and Tostitos. Workers have publicly aired a list of grievances ranging from stagnant wages, high turnover rates and a lack of hazard pay during the pandemic to 84-hour workweeks, warehouses in triple-digit heat with no air conditioning, months on end without a day off, and so-called “suicide shifts” where workers are only off the clock for eight hours before having to come back in. As one Frito-Lay worker wrote in an op-ed for the Topeka Capital-Journal, “This storm has been brewing for years.” The worker describes “iron-fisted management” that has forced employees to continue working through the smoke and fumes of a fire, the loss of a father, a “deep freeze” cold front, years of inflation with cost-of-living increases as low as 20 cents, and the on-the-job death of a co-worker. In an interview with Vice, Mark McCarter, a 59-year-old palletizer and union steward who has been working at the facility since he was 19, described one instance a few years ago where a co-worker died on the line and the company had his body moved to the side without stopping production. “It seems like I go to one funeral a year for someone who’s had a heart attack at work or someone who went home to their barn and shot themselves in the head or hung themselves,” said McCarter. Workers are now entering their third week on strike without pay as a last resort and have asked consumers to stop buying Frito-Lay products until an agreement with the company is reached. “We would rather nobody buy any Frito-Lay products, Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos, Funyuns, Cheetos, all those, while we’re on strike,” McCarter told Vice. “We make all of those in Topeka, Kansas.”While these shocking conditions (more fitting for an Upton Sinclair novel than the facility of a Fortune 500 company) have been given a human face by the workers organizing against them, they point to an imbalance of power that transcends Frito-Lay. The movement for an eight-hour workday in the US has been waged by workers since the late 1800s. And wasn’t legally guaranteed until 1938. In the decades that followed, all major federal legislation for workplace health and safety was won through the concerted efforts of organized labor and organized labor alone. In a country where labor history is all but forgotten, it is all too easy for people to understand the modern workplace as the result of a progressive advancement in thinking over what people consider acceptable terms of employment in a developed nation. But Frito-Lay and the countless other workers that have organized against low wages and poor working conditions under the pandemic have debunked this narrative, revealing a constant tug of war between workers and the All data is taken from the source: https://www.theguardian.com/ Article Link: theguardian.com/…ito-lays-workers-working-suicide-shifts-on-the-job